GREENWICH, Conn. — A black bear cub on the loose in downtown Greenwich was shot with tranquilizer guns by state officials and fell out of a tree in the backyard of a home on Hamilton Avenue on Wednesday afternoon.
Officers with rifles entered a wooded area behind a multifamily home at 151 Hamilton Ave. at 2:20 p.m. Neighbors were waved away from the scene. Rustling and yelling could be heard as police and officials from the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection worked to corral the 70-pound bear.
The bear sighting was reported in the Chickahominy neighborhood in midmorning to Greenwich Police, said Lt. Kraig Gray, spokesman for department. “The bear had no contact with any citizens or domestic animals. The police department basically isolated and contained the bear,” said Gray. Members of the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection arrived and took over.
The bear was in a tree when DEEP officials tranquilized it at about 2:30 p.m., said Capt. Mark Kordick of the Greenwich Police Department. The bear was covered with a blanket and loaded into the back of a DEEP truck for removal.
"It's all good now," Kordick said as he emerged from the woods.
The bear moved from the home at Hamilton Avenue to a house at 58 Spring St. during the afternoon. Barbara Guasco, owner of the home next door, said she noticed police vehicles when she got home. “I was worried about my tenants because I own both houses,” she said. Guasco said she did not let her dog out in the yard.
Although it is unusual for bears to be spotted in populated areas, the animals are not strangers to Greenwich. Late last month, town Conservation Commission officials reported two separate bear sightings in the northwest section of Greenwich.
“Bears are a native species and nothing to be overly concerned with if common sense is used,” Joe Cassone of the Conservation Commission said in an email to police Wednesday afternoon. “Standard advice is to remove bird feeders; do not leave pet food outdoors; keep all trash secure in cans and in a garage if possible; and if necessary pour ammonia on the trash to make it less appealing to the bears.”
The bear may have been spotted earlier in Rye Brook, N.Y. At 10 p.m. Tuesday, a resident driving home saw two black bears — a mother and a cub — crossing Ridge Street near the entrance ramp to the Hutchinson River Parkway, Rye Brook police Lt. Eugene Matthews said.
Moments later, police received a call from a resident in the same area reporting two bears in their backyard, Matthews said.